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Arrows

Some children do not process things quickly. They take too long to come up with the correct response to a situation. Other children can think quickly but often get confused with directions or knowing their left from their right.

Arrows is a neurodevelopmental exercise designed to address these issues. It is usually a quick exercise and can dovetail with other exercises. It should increase skills in quick processing and mastering directions. This exercise is best completed with a rebounder. A rebounder is a miniature trampoline but does not bounce as high. A trampoline or a couch cushion can be used instead. As an alternative, the participant can march in place. The important point is that the student keep a regular tempo while doing this exercise.

Step by Step Instructions: Arrows.

1. Obtain a rebounder or some method of keeping time or a rhythm. Also obtain a chart that is taped on a wall or something else at eye level. The chart has arrows pointing in various directions.

2. The participant follows the arrows by moving both arms and hands in the direction of the arrows. Each arrow on the chart gets one beat the participant is making on the rebounder.

3. Try to do one or two trials per session. The task is mastered when the participant can follow all the arrows accurately (without mistakes) and without any delays (e.g., missing a beat or two or bounce or two, or stopping).

4. Once mastery is achieved, use the hand out with written words, complete steps 1-3 until mastery is achieved. Remember only do one or two trials per day.

5. Once mastery is achieved for the words and for advanced processing, return to the arows chart and have the participant rotate each arrow 90 degrees (in their head) and follow steps 1-3 until mastery has been achieved.

6. Once mastery is achieved and for advanced processing skills, have the participant rotate each arrow 180 degrees (in their head) and follow steps 1-3 until mastery has been achieved. This should be much easier than step 5.

7. Once mastery is achieved and for advanced processing skills, have the participant rotate each arrow 270 degrees (in their head) and follow steps 1-3 until mastery has been achieved.

8. Once mastery is achieved, have the participant march and bark out orders as to right turn, left turn, about face, and continue forward. This is done until the participant has obtained mastery. Keep the amount of time to the amount of time used in previous steps. Mastery is achieved when the participant can follow directions without losing a beat (march step) and can go in any direction given randomly without error. Marching can be done in place, on the rebounder, or on a flat surface with lots of room (e.g., ground outside).

Exercise:Arrows.

Time: about 2 to 4 minutes depending on the frustration level of the child and how well they comprehend.

Recommended Frequency: one to two times daily, every day for 5 or 6 days a week until mastery has been achieved.

Materials Needed: A rebounder, the handout of arrows, and the handout on written directions.

Pretest Assessment: participant is slower than peers in processing speed and/or gets confused over right and left directions.

Mastery: participant can march, keeping time and respond correctly to orders of turn to the right, left, about face, and continue forward 100% of the time over a two minute time span.

Additional comments: This is a nice exercise to do in between two difficult exercises.

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